In many parts of the world, attitudes towards the environment are changing. People are becoming more aware of the need to protect the environment and preserve natural resources, and environmental education is gaining momentum worldwide both in formal and informal learning settings. This is also the case of Myanmar, where the EU funded SWITCH-Asia Prevent Plastics project has been actively invested in building and promoting environmental education and behaviour change programmes to raise the population’s awareness about waste management issues facing the country, as well as environmental degradation and biodiversity loss.
The Prevent Plastics journey began with one question:
How can Myanmar people be sensitised to the pressing issue of plastic pollution?
One of the three main pillars of this SWITCH-Asia project is to enhance consumer awareness and consumer information in the country on waste avoidance, particularly with a focus on single-use plastics. The use of multiple media channels has so far been a game changer in this endeavour, where during just the past year, the project has reached over 9 million consumers through social media campaigns, collaboration with influencers and project partners.
After numerous activities spearheaded by the project, it was time to explore the potential of Edutainment for knowledge acquisition and triggering behaviour change towards environmental protection and responsible consumption. Combining education and entertainment, edutainment relies heavily on visual material, on narrative or game-like formats, and on more informal, less didactic styles of learning (Buckingham and Scanlon 2000). In a nutshell, it translates into learning while having fun.
In Myanmar, an edutainment approach to eco-literacy holds a great potential, however, it is rare and unexplored. Driving innovation, Prevent Plastics has recently engaged in a collaboration with CANAL+ Myanmar (initiated in 2018 under the CANAL+ GROUP, the latter is a subsidiary of Vivendi Group), to launch an eco-literacy awareness raising and behaviour change programme focusing on reduction of plastic consumption, targeting both kids and adults.
With nearly 24 million subscribers, the group is a major player in the creation and distribution of content worldwide. The programme in Myanmar has aired on February 13th and will re-run until April 15th. Rather than just a television show, the latter has become a social movement, sparking dialogues and encouraging positive actions among Myanmar’s citizens, with people creating their own initiatives to tackle plastic pollution and waste management.
Moreover, CANAL+ Myanmar collaborated with Prevent Plastics Myanmar to develop a culture of green workplace at their premises, also promoting environmental awareness among future stars.
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